SPANISH INHERITANCE PROCEDURE – INHERITANCE LAW IN SPAIN.
The disposition of assets located in Spain by non residents heirs is not an automatic procedure. It is necessary to carry out some steps in order to have the Spanish properties and assets registered in the name of the heirs.
SPANISH INHERITANCE PROCEDURE.
The Fist step would be to obtain the original Death Certificate. In the event that the decease has occurred out of Spain, it is necessary that the certificate is stamped with the Apostille of the Convention of The Hague.
It is also necessary to obtain an original copy of the Will in Spain granted by the deceased, or if the Will was granted out of Spain, have it stamped with the Apostille of the Hague Convention.
In the event that there is no Will at all, it will be necessary to obtain a certification issued by the corresponding authority, stating who are the heirs as per the applicable legislation, also legalised with the Apostille of the Hague Convention.
Once all the documentation is in place, together with some documentation to be obtained in Spain by your representative (Spanish lawyers and/or Spanish Accountants), it is necessary to arrange a meeting at the Notary in Spain to proceed with the granting and signing of the acceptance Title Deed of the Spanish Inheritance.
Please note that the heirs will need to have Spanish fiscal identification numbers, the so called NIE numbers (número de identificación para extranjeros), necessary to appear in front of the Notary in Spain and to have the Spanish properties registered in their names at the corresponding land registry.
Spanish Inheritance experts of law firm, Arcos & Lamers Asociados, have the pleasure to mention 8 documents that should be obtained in order to be able to grant and sign the Spanish acceptance of Inheritance Title Deed.
INHERITANCE LAW IN SPAIN
As per the Spanish Legislation, at the time of the decease, the law applicable is the national law of the deceased (art. 9.8 Spanish Civil Code – Spanish law). Therefore it would be your national inheritance law which governs your inheritance situation of all your assets (also those located in Spain), being able to leave your estate to the person of your choice, but always complying with your own national law.
You should also confirm that your own national inheritance law is governed by the principle of free disposition of your assets by Will.
It may be possible that the national inheritance law remit to the law of the country where the assets are located (Spanish law). If this were the case, the Spanish Inheritance law establishes, in general terms, the following partition of the estate:
– 1/3 “Legítima”: The “legítima” is that share of the state that must be left in equal parts to compulsory heirs, i.e: primarily children and spouse.
– 1/3 “Mejora”: The “mejora” is the share of the state that can be left to one or more compulsory heirs, to improve the “legítima”. The difference with the “legitima” is that the testator can choose to whom of the compulsory heirs can improve with this share of the state.
-1/3 “Libre disposición”: This would be the third share of your state which you are free to dispose.
The Spanish Inheritance law establishes the principle of free disposition of your assets by Will which means that you would be entitled to grant a Will in Spain, respecting the 1/3 of “Legitima” and 1/3 of “Mejora”, (in case that your national law remit to the Spanish law).
After having signed the Title Deed of Acceptance of Inheritance in Spain, the next step would be to settle the Inheritance Tax in Spain and to proceed with the registration of the property in the name of the heir, at the corresponding Land Registry.
Arcos & Lamers Asociados, your English speaking law firm in Spain, will in addition be pleased to advise you in the granting of your Wills in Spain, provide the necessary Tax advice and any legal advice you may need in Marbella, Málaga, the Costa del Sol or in the total Spanish Territory.